CAUGHT ON TAPE: ABC7 Cameraman Calls Armenians ‘Thug-Type Idiots’

KABC cameraman,Tim. interviewing Ergun Kirlikovali (left front) and Nur Hostetler on Sunday (Facebook video screen shot)
KABC cameraman,Tim. interviewing Ergun Kirlikovali (left front) and Nur Hostetler on Sunday (Facebook video screen shot)

KABC cameraman,Tim. interviewing Ergun Kirlikovali (left front) and Nur Hostetler on Sunday (Facebook video screen shot)

LOS ANGELES—An KABC Channel 7 cameraman was caught on tape calling Armenians “thug-type idiots,” when interviewing two Turks who were part of a counter protest at the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 24 during the Armenian Genocide Rally for Justice.

The video was posted by Ergun Kirlikovali, the former president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, who was being interviewed by the KABC cameraman, identified in the video as Tim. Apparently, Kirlikovali had asked an associate to videotape the KABC interview.

“I’ve noticed you guys are pretty peaceful back here and holding your ground. I haven’t tried to talk to them because most of them are like thug-type idiots,” says Tim the KABC cameraman (at 5:21 on the video).

“Once you start talking to someone you just get a lot of ‘rarara’ behind it,” added Tim.

Toward the end of the Kirlikovali’s tape, he asks Channel 7 to invite him for a discussion about what he calls “Armenian territorial claims” and “Armenian terrorists,” to which Tim, the cameraman responds “Yeah. Armenian gangs.”

ABC 7 Eyewitness News on Friday covered the Armenian community’s disappointment with President Obama, who refused to use the term Genocide in his annual “Armenian Remembrance Day” message. Eyewitness News interviewed Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region Chairwoman Nora Hovsepian, who clearly delineated the Armenian community’s dismay with Obama’s statement.

WATCH the ABC7 Coverage.

Contact ABC7 and voice your complaint:

Main Line: 818-863-7777
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51 Comments

  1. herayer said:

    these two turks are either clueless or are big liars, and the channel 7 camera man is totally unprofessional, typical turkish line nothing happened, it is so typical trying to blame the victim. so basically the whole world knows and recognizes THE GENOCIDE OF THE ARMENIANS BY TURKEY, EVEN SOME TURKS RECOGNIZE AND HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE COMMITTED BY TURKEY, SO I ASK THESE EDUCATED TURKS TO SEEK THE TRUTH AND THEY WILL FIND THAT THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD LIES BY THEIR COUNTRY. ARMENIANS WILL ALWAYS DEMAND JUSTICE.

  2. Mariya Melkonyan said:

    I would like to know the camera man’s last name in order to write a letter to ABC 7. This is offensive and ABC needs to learn this information. But his name is not listed.

  3. ASHKEN HAKOPIAN said:

    You both don’t understand that Jews holocost happened the same way. You go to sides in Google and you will find so many documents about Armenian Genocide. Woman is trkish and I now see what she is saying. I’m sure that Turks who denies Armenian Genoside will never be humans as this woman.

  4. danoog said:

    I’d like to spend a few minutes alone with this fellow. I think I could change his views. He’s gotta go, by the way.

  5. Jane Demian said:

    I am writing to complain about KABC 7 News cameraman Tim who was caught on camera calling Armenians “thugs” and “gangs”. Perhaps in his experience he may have seen one or two Armenian tough guys, but the THOUSANDS of people who were attending the memorial event on April 24th are peaceful, hard working people who are neither “thugs” nor “gangs.” I demand that ABC 7 broadcast an apology, and sanction their cameraman for making those statements. There is an obvious conflict between the countries of Armenia and Turkey, the history of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks is well documented, but your cameraman chose to take the side of the Turkish interviewee to the disadvantage of the millions of Armenian viewers.

  6. Mary said:

    Why isn’t he fired? Could he have said this about Adrian American slavery? Could he have said this about about the germans or Jews? Why could he say this about Armenians and keep his job? Shame on ABC7

  7. Peter Musurlian said:

    If I wanted to give Tim — the ABC7 Cameraman — the benefit of the doubt, I might conclude: he’s not a bigot. He was out there by himself, on a Sunday, trying to make his two Turkish interviewees comfortable. But, I am a bit troubled that he would say such biased and insulting things, knowing that someone was standing right next to him recording his comments. By the way, if all Tim saw were “Thug-type idiots,” on the Armenian side, he might want to go back to journalism school. I have watched Los Angeles-television coverage of these protests for years. Other reporters have had no trouble getting soundbites from well-spoken, passionate Armenian-Americans. No trouble at all. I have been at many of these demonstrations and have NEVER seen “thug-type” idiotic behavior by the demonstrators. In fact, I have seen just the opposite. Protestors are thankful to have a mainstream-media platform to talk about the genocide, to talk about their dead relatives, to talk about how nothing-close-to-justice has ever occurred. — I am sure ABC7’s Tim is not a bigot. He was simply in-over-his head. He should perhaps spend his Sundays shooting weddings. Not as much thinking or stress involved in getting a great angle of the new bride’s bouquet toss.

  8. Kelly Stuart said:

    I’m really disappointed to see an American journalist, who I would assume was educated, call Armenians “thug type” individuals without having any idea what he’s hearing. I’m also disappointed that this hate speech is given a mouthpiece for Turkish propaganda. The stupidity of this journalist, his appalling ignorance is not just an embarrassment, it’s also insulting to survivors of the genocide. I’m NOT Armenian by the way, I’m an American who has spent enough time reading the records in the American Library of Congress- reports from our own Ambassador Morgenthau about the genocide. Please, if you are going to report on this, do some research from American sources, if not from sources provided by surviving Armenians. Beyond shameful, I hope there is an apology for this. Imagine if some Nazis were interviewed denying the Holocaust– this is exactly the same situation. Someone would lose their job– at least.

    • Herayer said:

      Kellly thank you for your true history about the Armenian genocide please send your amazing accurate letter to abc 7 I got a gut feeling this denial interview was a set up shame on the camera man and abc7

  9. Harutuyn said:

    people dont pay attention we know who they are so thats what matters it is all instigation let them bark all day
    they know that the heat in the kitchen is getting hotter so they bark soon they will leave the kitchen and go home.
    xeri tex mi drek concentrate what really matters to us. screw the name calling , petka gors anenk vochte urishi lezvi gimnastikayi vra mer shunche pchasenk.

  10. lisa said:

    +Armenian Turkish this was a PAID CALCULATED PLANNED ACT. Don’t be fooled,. HE SHOULD HAVE said MADOFF and jheewss are thugs of WALL STREET who stole BILLIONS FROM US TAX PAYERS

  11. Ariga said:

    Who is this uneducated camera man?? Its amazing how he is going to talk to 2 people from “their side of the story” as they kept mentioning, and ignore 100,000 Armenian with the evidence and proof Just to promote his hate towards a nation.
    It was 100 years ago so its ok?!? This is not just for Armenians, this is a wake up call for humanity to know there are still people existed who believe its Ok to kill innocent people in this modern society because no ones going to remember in 100 years! Is this the type of peace in the world we are praying for?!?
    The fact that you called Armenians thug type idiots showed how uneducated you are, and you don’t deserve to be part of media that tries to inform people about their social, historical and political issues!!!

  12. Matshall said:

    This is not only Armenian issue Greeks , Assyrian ‘s also were slaughtered by Muslim Turks ! This is Genocide on Christian ‘s until today they ate killing us America! Do you think if we where Muslims we would be here today?

  13. Janine said:

    I am assuming that they did NOT air this interview? Could someone please let us know?

  14. Jackie Marashlian, like kardashian said:

    Tim needs to grow up and he owes me a granddaughter of 4 genocide survivors, a big apology. How would you like it if I called you a thug on national tv with your mother watching? Not very good I bet, but the. Again you probably have no feeling. What do they call that in “thug” language, Tim, numbskull?Tim you’re a bully and its “thug” like behavior to engage in name calling a peace loving minority who exercises their right to peaceful assembly each year since birth in this fine nation. How many times have you demonstrated for a cause or even participated in any American political processes? None, I’m sure by the way you conducted yourself on camera. Get your facts straight and educate yourself before blowing hot air around because no one is going to walk across a hot and cold desert and doge thousands of near death experiences for your sorry ass.

  15. Emanuel said:

    This is horrible!! You should be ashamed of yourselves ABC7, so should your employee and the two innocent Turkish people (that no one hates) claiming that everything is a lie. We have no issues with Turkish people today, we don’t seek death or revenge on a fellow human being on this day or any other for that matter. We want it to be recognized as it is stated. How much more proof do we need to show, is the Turkish government running out of ideas and that’s why they keep asking for more and more proof. Your cameraman said in the video, “100 years is a long time ago” and “That was over there, we’re over here now” just listen to how that sounds in your head for a moment, let it really sink in. Why isn’t he saying things like, slavery ended 400 years ago, why are black people always bringing it up. Jewish people went through the Holocaust, they bring that up every time a racial situation is in front of them. They have had their genocides and horrendous years acknowledged in the world’s eyes, we’re trying to do the same. We have done anything to hurt or offend anyone through our marches so leave us be. Stick to interviewing people, your job was to ask them questions not put us down on camera you imbecile! I hope you sleep better at night knowing you made racist comments on such a sensitive day/week. We “Thug Like Idiots” are your politicians, government officials, police officers, caretakers, community service members, doctors, teachers, lawyers, bankers, mechanics, contractors, plumbers, engineers, artists and the list goes on. You didn’t even attempt to find one of us to get an interview while you were filming, you just said we “rah rah”. This is a border line hate crime at this point, do something about this ABC7!

  16. Ayp Pen said:

    Inexcusable. We need to demand this insult is dealt withm we are angry over 100 years of persecution, so excuse us if we are loud and blow whistles. We survived and know what has happened. Denial is insult to injury.

  17. mike said:

    Armenia is 1ST Christian nation on the world, we do not have terrorists lol turks are the terrorists educate yourself you stupid donkey, go back and read the history, the books lets say we are lying what about the rest of the world? all these facts .. idiots

  18. Armen Tashjian said:

    Ignorance + prejudice = hatred.

    P.S. Tim is obviously bigoted. ABC should terminate him or at a minimum educate him on history and tolerance. This is truly shameful.

  19. Los Angelina said:

    KABC Is liable in this case, as their employee was on duty when he made the hateful comments.
    the Armenian community should demand the dismissal of the cameraman / reporter in question and an apology!!! This is a fundamental and classic example of corporate main stream official medias silent discrimination against minoriities in general . It exposes the underlying resentment, bigotry and luck of standards of some . that’s why it is so important to work with other progressive forces , minority communities closly and champion the civil rights in our country . What we witness hear is common core feeling of some that smile on the surface, but have Different feelings . This is bigotry exposed . Next demonstration and boycott has KABC WRITTEN ALL OVER IT .

  20. Masis said:

    I called abc. It is imperative that this guy be given the opportunity to resign. His statements are clearly racist in nature. If abc is not aggressive, I’d suggest they be sued.

  21. Masis said:

    This is despicable. No Armenian has treated a Turk like this cameraman treated our entire nation. This is on even worse on such a sensitive day. I called abc. It is imperative that this guy be given the opportunity to resign. His statements are clearly racist in nature. If abc is not aggressive in rectifying this, I’d suggest they be sued.

  22. Anna said:

    Hello, my name is Anna and I am calling to express my sincere disappointment that a KABC-7 cameraman named Tim demonstrated a severe ethical and journalistic lapse during his reporting from the Armenian Genocide Rally for Justice on Sunday, April 24. His comments about Armenians were disparaging, calling our activists idiots. He joked with Turkish activists about how the Armenian Genocide happened overseas and had no bearing on Los Angeles. An uninformed bigot such as Tim has no place in a well-respected media outlet such as KABC-7. I am calling on you to make the position of the station clear to our community, and to effectively deal with Tim’s unethical conduct. Thank you.

  23. Stepan said:

    CAUGHT ON TAPE: KABC7 Cameraman (Tim) Calls Armenians ‘Thug-Type Idiots’
    (at 5:21 on the video)
    This Cameramen Tim was paid by the Turks to insult the Armenian Community on April 24, commemorating the Armenian Genocide? Shame on KABC 7 and their cameramen, who is supposed to be a neutral reporter to the American public. We Armenians expect an official apology from ABC 7 and disciplinary action against this cameraman.

  24. Isabella Hakopian said:

    Dear Tim,

    Your work as a cameraman is excellent so you should stick to shining bright lights and pointing the camera to the speaker. Many people including me do not appreciate your comments on the Armenian people, who have the right to petition and assembly. However, according to you these people using their rights as a way to express their pain and disappointment to the lack of recognition to the genocide, are not worth interviewing “because most of them are like thug-type idiots.” And yes maybe you are just trying to do your job as you may claim but your job is not to insult a group of people, it is to capture information and make your secondary sources. Your job is important because these recordings and videos you assemble are later published and spread throughout the news. Now why would someone with such a responsibility, put their job at risk by making unreasonable and disrespectful comments to a large population of people all agreeing to one truth, one truth that you clearly denied.

  25. ELIZABETH BOGHOSSIAN said:

    I would like to address a video that was posted online on April 26, 2016 calling Armenians “thug-like idiots” and promoting “Turkish Philosophy” on Armenian Genocide. Please note that the content was shot by Tim (the cameraman).
    I, and many others in the Armenian community would like ABC Eyewitness News to know that the video is extremely insulting to the Armenians and many Armenian supporters. Please be advised that your camera crew is immature and unprofessional. Moreover, the information provided (and supported by your employee) is utmost uneducated and incorrect. It carries a negative connotation allowing others to doubt the truth about Armenian Genocide. The delivery is out of line and anyone who is unaware of what has taken place in 1915 (including what is being fought for now on a global scale) may derive a different message, one that has no bases of being true. There is a ton of literature, (including from the U.S. and German officials at the time, of what really took place in 1915. Pages and pages of official documents are available for public to educate themselves on this topic. We can talk about this for hours). Please note that Tim’s comments and body language is unacceptable and needs to be addressed as soon as possible to minimize further damage to civilians and, of course, to Eyewitness News “brand”. We believe a disciplinary action is needed and this type of behavior (especially from a news channel/representative) can not be tolerated.
    The Armenian community demands that:
    1) This video be taken down from YouTube immediately
    2) Tim be discharged from his cameraman duties
    2) Eyewitness News makes a public statement with an apology to the Armenian community
    3) Eyewitness news its staff/members/management and everyone that is in charge of future content being presented to the public, takes responsibility in filtering the information at hand prior to public release to minimize harm to its watchers/subscribers/community
    Since when a cameraman take an interview?! Oh I know , because he couldn’t go any further with his weak abilities but to interview idiots like him. Get a HISTORY class ! Read! I can’t believe my ears that blond lady saying ” there wasn’t even so many people at that time”

    Thank you for your prompt response and we truly hope you will take immediate actions in addressing the issue at hand.
    Sincerely Elizabetth Boghossian

    • Herayer said:

      Elizabeth, very we’ll written and explained in detail no one has the right to deny the Armenian Genocide.you have answered them with the truth they should not be allowed to rewrite history Armenians are very proud of you for defending the reality of Armenian genocide

  26. Garegin Manasarian said:

    This reporter MUST PUBLICLY beg an apology from US Armenians, otherwise the ABC7 will take full responsibility for its Cameramen. And please hire only educated people, that they know a little bit history, when Turks came to that area?, where they came from?, how they came? ( of course not as tourists). My grandparents got killed by Turks, they took their house and everything, only my father escaped. About verification I have (these documents are 100 years old). And thousands of Armenians have documents, we just waiting for right time, and its coming……………..

  27. Maggie said:

    Why is this news worthy? He is a nobody, hoping to gain sympathy by reaching out to the American public with crocodile tears. History was written for a reason, you can deny it and even run from it, but facts are there. I for one know how to read, and it’s not just documented in Armenian history, it was documented world wide. If we are lying so are the other countries who sent aide including the Red Cross that documents and saves children during that time. Please read a book.

  28. Norin said:

    This prejudiced cameraman should be fired immediately. What the hell kind of station sends a cameraman with a mic to interview and hold up the camera at the same time? What the hell was he doing there anyway? Everyone needs to call in and expect the same line of treatment and discipline for this cameraman for his comments as would have been taken if this cameraman defamed Jewish groups protesting Holocaust Denial. Would it be okay for a cameraman to say the “Germans set up and killed Jews in concentration camps, what like SEVENTY years ago, plus that was THERE not HERE”, this comment would immediately have this cameraman looking for a new job and he would also NEVER be able to get a cameraman job EVER again. If its good for the Goose, it should be good for the Gander, hence, FIRE HIS SORRY HIDE, rules of bigotry and prejudice don’t simply apply to Jewish humanitarian protest and Holocaust related content!!!!

  29. Raffi said:

    KABC cameraman TIM thinks is too smart? by making a commentlike this he has showed how idiot he is, Armenians should Follow his finances..

  30. Raffi said:

    What a Pre-fabricated interview, Kirlikovali’s and her partner intead of making stupid comments they should go and study history, and be ashamed repeating like parrots the words of the two idiots Erdogan and Aliyev

  31. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    Until my grand-mother and grand-father have a burial site , I will not rest in peace , Armenians are peace loving people. God Bless all Armenians, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

  32. SAT said:

    Tim should definitely be fired for his unprofessionalism. Tim, even if you hate a group of people, or a whole nation, still keep your mouth shut. How could you fall that low?

  33. Arden Arapyan said:

    Considering the simple historical fact that so many Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, about 250 of them, were arrested on one fateful night, April 24 1915, and over 2300 of them arrested within the following weeks, and consequently liquidated in most cases (*see below: so many of community leaders’ years end with 1915, it’s scary,) a fact which is undeniable by anybody, I would be interested to know how anybody could seriously argue that the Ottoman Turkish government was not, in so doing, attempting to decapitate the Armenian population living within its borders, with the intention of massacring the remaining Armenians, which they did attempt to do, once their voice was silenced. This is just one point out of many, but one that no denier can ignore.

    * Here’s just a short list of a few prominent members of the Armenian community who were killed in 1915.
    Dr. Rupen (Sevag) Chilingirian (1885-1915) Physician, writer, public figure.
    Dr. Nazareth Daghavarian (1862-1915) Scientist, educator.
    Very Rev. Ardavazt Kalenderian (1876-1915) Celibate priest.
    Diran Kelegian (1862-1915) Editor, journalist, teacher, scholar.
    Karekin Khajag (1867-1915) Teacher, writer.
    Khachadour Maloumian, “Agnouni” (1863-1915) Journalist, editor, author.
    Very Rev. Sahag Odabashian (1875-1915) Teacher, clergyman.
    Vartkes Serengulian (1871-1915) Community leader.
    Haroutiun Shahrigian (1860-1915) Lawyer.
    Bishop Nerses Tanielian (1868-1915) Clergyman.
    Daniel Varoujan (1884-1915) One of the leading poets of his generation.
    Arshak Vramian (1871-1915) Secretary of the Constantinople Central Committee.
    Adom Yarjanian, “Siamanto” (1878-1915) Prominent poet, editor.
    Rupen Zartarian, “Aslan” (1874-1915) Teacher, writer, editor.
    Krikor Zohrab (1860-1915) Writer, novelist, editor, attorney, member of the Armenian National Assembly.

  34. Saaten Maagar said:

    This piece of work called Ergun Kirlikovali, is a paid Turkish government operative who has for years been organizing and very vocal in Orange County. Google him up and see his long history of spreading the official denial narrative of the Turks. The lady next to him in the picture has been seen on similar occasions through the years and has the audacity to wear black as if she is morning something, a perfect actor accomplice, be careful, she might start crying any minute now.

  35. L. Kay said:

    These people are obviously paid off by the Turkish lobbyists here in the US and Turkish government. Interesting how they resort to these measures to hide something that is undeniable (the Armenian Genocide).

  36. Miriam said:

    This is another example of idiotism and bias and prejudice, and this so called tim obviously is not familiar with what is called ethics and facts, and he should not have the right to bear a camera. It’s a disgrace to the rest of the cameramen who are true professionals. What a shame for ABC, a channel like ABC having someone like this as a cameraman, gross. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some turkish ancestors and is paid to do what he did. What an idiot. Shame on ABC…I will never watch it again, NEVER.

  37. Bob said:

    The cameraman ended up getting fired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdGqKUoGBUo

    Not only is the cameraman an ignorant moron, the interviewees were as well. Just a couple of *ssholes denying and denying over and over again. Way to shove propaganda down people’s throats. Denying the genocide is perhaps the most idiotic thing I have ever seen. All clear evidence points to the atrocity being caused by the Turks, and here you have these cheap people saying that it wasn’t their fault… pppht! These people are like climate change deniers: ill-informed retards. I’m glad this freaking son of a b*tch got fired. He can go take his worthless career to the gutter.

  38. anoush dekmejian said:

    I strongly object to hate statements made by Tim, Channel 7 cameraman. His statements are not only totally incorrect but unprofessional as an employee of Channel 7. He knows nothing about the courageous Armenian people and the contributions they give to society in every profession and non-professional field. The Turkish government has been trying to rewrite history for the past 100 years. Most of the world has accepted the historical fact that the genocide occurred. It is time for Channel 7 to apologize publically to the Armenian people for these hateful remarks.

  39. Antranik Tashian said:

    The Cameraman Should Be Fired.
    He Is A Racist And A Jackass.

  40. shirley said:

    While I was on my way home on Sunday, and explaining the Armenian Genocide to my husband, I approached a red light at a major intersection in Glendale. A large group of cars with Armenian flags sped past at about 60 miles an hour, on their green light. My light turns green, I proceed to cross the intersection, windows up, music and a/c on. My husband starts screaming at me to stop. Here comes another group of Armenian flagged cars, speeding at 60 plus miles per hour, running THEIR RED LIGHT!!!!! Had it not been for my husband, we surely would have been killed. I am all for the right to protest, or express your opinions. But breaking laws and endangering innocent lives is b.s. What the hell??? Abide by the laws of this country, state and city. Idiots!!!

    • Brian White said:

      Shame to all that don’t know the history. Shame to all that don’t want to be educated. At least keep your mouths shut if you don’t know something. And yes the reporter got fired for the racist act and yes ABC has apologized for their part. And yes everyone will hear more about the Armenian Genocide to be educated and learn about Armenians.
      And Shirley watch the way you speak. Yes every young adults in their early 20 and late 18s do drive fast even non Armenians. Hispanic, White, Jew, African American and a lot more young adults and yes it’s not right. But do not speak like that about the Armenian community if anything you should apologize for your last comment idiot!!!
      I know the Armenians really well and let me assure You of something their children’s are the ones that respect adults and are always helpful to their community. And just because few young kids did something wrong you don’t have the right to speak like that about them. If anything you should be home eveyday writhing comments about every young adult that drives fast. Which happened in every city every day.

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